These days, there are a lot of resources on marketing looks for headshots.

With “Type Me” classes, look workshops, personal brand coaches and stylists all giving you advice on looks, sometimes it can create more confusion than clarity.

IF THE ADVICE YOU’RE GETTING IS CONTRADICTORY, WHO DO YOU LISTEN TO?

One of my clients hired a coach for advice on how she should market herself. Then she hired a stylist who also gave her advice.

Turned out those two people had slightly different opinions regarding her looks.

Haley Leitman: Intern / Guys’ Girl / Hero

Jane A. Johnston: Upscale Grandmother / Henry Kemp: Professor

When she walked into my studio and while finalizing our choices for wardrobe, you can imagine how confused she was when my opinion was also different than the other two people she hired and paid money to!

Kevin Chacon: Blue Collar / Cartel / Gangster

First and foremost, it’s important you realize that sometimes you may have plans but your plans may change and that’s okay. You have to be fluid in this business.

IF YOU’RE ON AN AUDITION and you have planned to present your character one way, but the casting director throws a curve ball at you and asks you to do it differently, you go with the flow right?

Anadelle Phillips: Hipster / Urban Hip

Martina Weidenmo: Student / Edgy Substance Abuser

If I’m inspired by someone’s outfit and plan a particular background for that outfit, and after showing it to my client, my client doesn’t’ like that background, I have to be fluid and go with the flow.

Same thing applies to your looks.

If you had planned looks but your photographer presents you a different perspective, as long as it resonates with you (👈 I’ll come back to this), you can go with the flow. But I digress… it’s important to recognize that advice is just a professional’s opinion. It isn’t the end all and be all; opinions vary from one professional to the next.

Arial Eleazar & Barber-Stephens / Kid’s Headshots

Charee Devon: Office Girl / BBQ Mom

Kaitlin Moose: Young Politician / Secretary

However, to avoid feeling like you’ve wasted your money on a bunch of conflicting advice, YOU have to do the work and come to understand your looks rather than pay someone to tell you what your looks are.

I repeat.

You have to understand your looks rather than be told what your looks are.

Mario Peoples: Edgy Bad Guy / BBQ Dad

Here’s how.

  1. Make sure the suggested look resonates with you. Your gut never lies.
  2. There is a difference between what you want to play vs. what you look like you can play. Always choose what your look supports.
  3. There is a difference between what you want to play vs. what your essence suggests you can play. When building a resume, you have to  lean into who you are naturally, not who you can push yourself to be in character… that comes after you’ve built a career.
  4. Do your homework. Watch one episode of every single hot show on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO and more.
  5. Find the characters that match your list of looks and make sure you fit those characters both VISUALLY AND IN YOUR ESSENCE.

Justin Becker: Jock / Prep School Student

If you do this work, you will not be blindly relying on anyone’s opinion about how you should market yourself. Instead you’ll come to discover and understand how you are perceived by the industry as a whole based on the proper research.

Now don’t get me wrong peeps. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire someone to help guide you.

BUT…

After hiring someone, when you’ve done the homework and a photographer, a stylist, an agent, a coach, a friend or ANYONE gives your their opinion, you’ll know immediately if they are off or if they are correct. Because it will either resonate with the work you’ve done or it won’t.

Period.

Larisa Southerland: Quirky Office / Hipster

To help you get started, take a look at my list of headshot marketing looks trending today. I update this list frequently so refer back to it every once in a while!

👇Name one incident where you had conflicting advice and how you fixed it! Let’s keep talking about this in the comments below.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention my HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY!! Pop over to Instagram to enter.

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